Comparison: Goodreads vs StoryGraph

For around a year now, I’ve been using StoryGraph alongside Goodreads as my two book-tracking apps. I found StoryGraph randomly on Twitter one day when someone I follow posted a link to an article of the best alternatives to Goodreads. Since then, I’ve used StoryGraph as it offers a lot of benefits over Goodreads, but Goodreads does still offer some advantages too.

Below I’ve compared the two platforms which will hopefully give you some guidance as to which book-tracking/recommendation platform you’d prefer to use.

Something to note: when you first set up a StoryGraph account it is relatively easy to transfer ALL of your Goodreads content over including reviews, reading dates and bookshelves which makes the transition even better. So let’s begin…

User interface

One of the most important things when navigating your book-tracking service is to know how to actually get stuff done. Want to quickly hop on and update your page number in a book? Want to quickly check reviews for books? This needs to be made easy and it’s something here that I think is a fairly close contest.

StoryGraph’s homepage
Goodreads’ homepage

On first glance, Goodreads is definitely the more mature platform, this homepage is a place that’s seen plenty of updates but has also not had a visual overhaul or any new features in a few years now. However, you’d argue that it doesn’t need new features (simply refinement which we’ll get on to later). StoryGraph on the other hand only came out of its beta stage in February when they launched their premium service alongside it.

Visually I much prefer StoryGraph – it’s cleaner and more instantly noticeable what you’re doing. On the homepage, you only have your recommendations (using a smart AI) and your “To-Read Pile” making it easy to quickly get recommendations or find your next book. As aforementioned, Goodreads offers far more content on its homepage, almost trying to force all of its features onto you in one screen. A little more cluttered but some may find this far more useful. It’s too close to call on this one, so I’m going to have to call it a draw.

User interface – Draw

Book-tracking

Book-tracking is possibly the number one (or at least second) thing that book lovers use Goodreads for and will also appreciate about StoryGraph. StoryGraph works in the same way as Goodreads, you can search books (there’s not a book on Goodreads that I haven’t been able to also find on StoryGraph so far which is promising) and then categorise them into “Read”, “To Read”, “Reading” or “Did not Finish”. This to me is simpler than Goodreads where when I first started using it, you could input anything into these options. StoryGraph also allows you to “tag” books – I use this feature to highlight the books on my TBR I want to read next (as opposed to at any point in the future).

StoryGraph’s Book-tracking page
Goodreads’ book-tracking panel on the homepage

Goodreads does have an advantage in this field as it is owned by Amazon. Therefore, if you’re using the Kindle apps to read your eBooks, it can track when you’ve started and finished a book (started is only a feature on iOS as far as I’m aware). StoryGraph doesn’t have any automated features like this and everything has to be added manually.

Both feature page-tracking, the ability to add in the start and end dates and both also have reading goals. Though I feel StoryGraph’s reading goals have been easier to explore. I’ve found book challenges that see you challenging yourself to read-only Science Fiction for a month or some which you have to randomly pick from your TBR for example. However, with the automated features the Kindle app adds to Goodreads but the more enjoyable book challenges (or easily findable anyway) options StoryGraph gives, I’m going to have to call this one a draw again.

Book-tracking – Draw

Book recommendations

If you’re not using these services for book-tracking, then you’re on there for it to give you some recommendations to read next. Straight away, I’m going to have to give this one to StoryGraph. As I mentioned in the user interface segment, the homepage of StoryGraph is simpler and more minimal and also offers you up Book Recommendations is the very first thing you see. Also, there are books within this list that I’ve genuinely gone on to add to my TBR. Additionally, when on the “Book Recommendations” page, you can define what sort of book you’re looking to read next – do you want something “Tense” but isn’t on your TBR? You can filter this down.

StoryGraph’s recommendations screen
Goodreads’ recommendation page

Goodreads on the other hand offers me some very odd choices as recommendations. I feel like there is less intelligence to Goodreads’ offerings – it’s simply suggesting me books that are in the same genre for example. StoryGraph analyses far more when giving you recommendations such as the number of pages I like to read, other books people liked who also liked the books I’ve read, the genres I prefer and so much more. The first round that’s not a draw!

Book recommendations – StoryGraph

Community

Now, this round is why Goodreads still has such a huge following. Being the first big book-related social media platform, anybody who was anybody jumped on it so they could tell everybody what they were reading and what they thought of these books. If you follow a Bookstagrammer or a BookTuber then they’ll almost certainly have a Goodreads account that you can follow and track their reading journey. Goodreads also offers quizzes, book lists, ask the author events, discussions, book groups and so much more. There are also some very notable authors on the platform who you can follow for both updates on their own books but also to see their reviews and opinions of other books (and their own!)

Storygraph's Community page
StoryGraph’s Community page
Goodreads' community options
Goodreads’ community options

StoryGraph just doesn’t have this same level of community. There are multiple factors for this: it’s newer so hasn’t built up quite the audience yet and also it simply doesn’t have these sort of features embedded yet. There is a community section on the website which looks to offer the ability to follow people and see their book reviews – though I’m yet to be aware of any celebrities, of Bookstagrammer of Booktubers on the platform that you’d want to follow. Also, none of my friends have heard of it so aren’t on it either. This round has to go to Goodreads – though we’ll see again in ten years!

Community – Goodreads

Book reviews

Reviewing books is a huge part of these platforms – whether it’s reviewing them for your own self-gratification or for your followers. Being able to jot down your thoughts on a book makes the ten hours you spent reading it feel like they had an end goal. Goodreads offers up a strong offering in this category. It has a few things going for it: whenever you search for book reviews on Google, Goodreads will likely be the first or second option, offering you the average review score out of five that that book has been given. Goodreads also has the feature where when you finish your Kindle version of the book, when you swipe past the last page it asks for your review and you can choose to post this to just Amazon or just Goodreads or both. People do also seem to be more generous with book reviews on StoryGraph, but I’ll come onto why in the StoryGraph section now.

Storygraph's unique reviewing options
StoryGraph’s unique reviewing options
A snippet of Goodreads' reviewing options
A snippet of Goodreads’ reviewing options

StoryGraph’s reviewing system interest me far more than Goodreads. The creators of the page wanted to offer people a more “visual” look at books. Rather than seeing a five-star rating and 100 words on why that person loves it, StoryGraph offers you the option to choose from categories that best represent the book. For example, you choose whether it was “adventurous” or “tense” among other options; you choose whether it’s story-driven, character-driven or both; you choose whether it’s fast, medium, or slow-paced – and more. It’s a great way to review a book! These categories allow me to define the books I like to read. It also helps me choose what I want to read next far easier! Have I just read a 1,200-page epic and want a fast, light-hearted read? I can literally find a book based on these criteria. You can give the books a rating out of five, offering .25 increments too. However, a lot of people on StoryGraph appear to be more stringent with their ratings. A book that received a 5* on Goodreads may only receive a 4.25* on Storypgra due to the numbering increments and so the overall score is far lower.  If we ignore Goodreads’ advantages of being owned by Amazon (their powerful SEO and Kindle-app integration) then StoryGraph is my much-preferred way to review and find reviews of books.

Book reviews – StoryGraph

Support

One of the big pieces of contention with Goodreads is that it hasn’t received any major feature updates in some years now. There’s a strong feeling that Amazon knows it’s the biggest platform of its kind and so no longer feels the need to update it. From my own experience, one of the biggest problems I have with the platform is there’s an odd bug where I’m tracking a book, it seems to sometimes add multiple versions of the same book (UK edition vs US edition or something) and so when I finish a book, I either have to mark it as finished twice or leave one as “CUrrently reading”. Also, it confuses itself with this option too sometimes, simply not allowing me to mark a book as finished. I currently have about four books in my “Currently reading” that I’ve also got in my “Read” pile but can’t mark as actually “Read”. For someone who likes to keep my lists up-to-date, this is quite frustrating.

StoryGraph on the other hand has fantastic support. I’ve signed up to receive the newsletters from the Devs and they are fantastic. Their updates are very open, they let you know about upcoming features, they ask your opinions on features, they’re constantly looking to improve, they give you updates on what they’re working on elsewhere and they even tell you the books they’re currently reading. It’s a fantastic feeling to feel so aware of what the developers are doing. Also, there are new features being added or refinements to current features being introduced almost monthly which is exactly what you want to see from a new and upcoming website. StoryGraph definitely wins this round. Sorry Amazon… I mean Goodreads!

Support – StoryGraph

and last but not least…

Statistics

Now I know you may think that this is an odd category to include, but in the same way that we all love to track our book-reading habits, there’s a certain aspect of us that loves to know what our actual favourite genre is, or what the average book length we prefer is, or what sort of books are our favourite. StoryGraph has an incredible screen that offers you all of this information at a glance.

Goodreads' pie charts and stats
Goodreads’ pie charts and stats

From what I can see, Goodreads doesn’t offer anything anywhere near as personalised as this. The only sort of stats you can garner are to do with your Reading Challenge and this is to do with how long you have left, how far you are through it etc. However, StoryGraph already has a dedicated page for this too. I’ve got to say I love StoryGraph’s stats feature and check in with them every month or so to see what I’ve been reading and what my preferred content is. Sometimes it surprises me to see that I have enjoyed mainly “adventurous” books for example or that 16 of the 31 books I’ve read this year have been between 300-499 pages. Great feature!

Statistics – StoryGraph

Summary – StoryGraph wins!

Based on the categories I’ve chosen, StoryGraph is our winner here. However, there will be some reading this who have seen where Goodreads beats StoryGraph and decided to stick with that. However, if you’re fed up and tired of Goodreads, find it a bit clunky, or are simply someone who likes to try the new thing, I’d highly recommend giving StoryGraph a go. It’s much newer than Goodreads so give it some leeway when it comes to depth and simply appreciate it for what it is – a very well organised, thoughtful and clearly loved platform by the developers.

You can follow me on both of these platforms as I’m currently still using both heavily.

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